Conveniently located in the heart of the River North, a mere minute from Magnificent Mile in downtown Chicago, the Acme Hotel Company stands like a beacon of light for the hip, modern traveler. The fourteen floor, 130-room building, immediately welcomes guests with a playful rock chic vibe, with a neon “vacancy” sign flashing in the window. Elevators are lined with classic album covers like Bowie, the Eurythmics, Smashing Pumpkins, Lady Gaga, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and more, which are actually part of the owners personal collection.
Each stylish and modern room offers an 46-inch flat-screen TV that plugs into a laptop or iPad for Internet streaming, as well as an iPod docking station, high speed wifi, vegas-style minibar and more. The rooms feature hardwood floors, mod yet comfy orange chairs, and a hotel “instruction manual” with cartoon line drawings.
Back during Pitchfork Music Festival, we had the pleasure of staying on the 14th floor in one of their beautiful king suites with a living room and kitchen with microwave and fridge, that looked north over East Ohio Street. The view was excellent, like most in the architectural city, especially that of Bloomingdale’s Home housed in the ornate Medinah Temple, built by the Shriners in 1912.
The bathroom, a clean and subtle affair with a glass partitioned waterfall shower, granite detailing and big saucy red lips that glow on the bathroom mirror. Botanically oriented bath products by LATHER made hitting the showers rather awakening with lemon grass body wash, mint thyme hair wash, and yuzu bergamot moisturizer refilled daily. On each door is a chalkboard, where guests can write notes to one another, or the hotel staff, using chalk stored in an industrial holder inside the room.
The hotel offers up a unique form of room service with daily simple room service options for breakfast and a complimentary “knock and drop” morning coffee, which arrives outside your door in a thermos in a brown paper bag along with a USA Today at your desired hour.
The hotel also houses an unadvertised fitness centre, hot tub, sauna, on-site laundry facility and business centre, perfect for guests staying for long durations, as well as the fantastic West Town Bakery that serves up delicious pastries, including cake balls, and rather awesome sandwiches (try the roast beef, you won’t regret it!). Also inside the hotel is a world-class cocktail bar called the Berkshire Room, specializing in classic cocktails with a modern twist complimented by an elaborate and decadent snack menu. Newly opened in early July by Benjamin Schiller of the Fifty/50 group the space is stunningly decorated harkening back to speakeasies of past with rich leather sofas, luxe marble, and chic industrial fixtures. The menu features a number of kick ass barrel finished cocktails which are batched in super old Wild Turkey, Pappy Van Winkle, Caymus, Chimney Rock, and William Larue Weller barrels to give a different flavour profile to each cocktail.
After staying in the hotel for nearly a week, we give Chicago’s Acme Hotel Company our Sidewalk Hustle seal of approval. Not only is it a fantastic destination in itself, it offers up a cool rock ‘n’ roll aesthetic unlike any other in the neighbourhood, at an affordable price.